Advocates for the homeless make voices heard in State Capitol

| May 7, 2019 | 0 Comments
Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan appear at a rally for affordable housing May 6 at the State Capitol in St. Paul.

Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan appear at a rally for affordable housing May 6 at the State Capitol in St. Paul. Joe Ruff/The Catholic Spirit

People who have experienced homelessness, advocates for affordable housing, state lawmakers and the governor and lieutenant governor of Minnesota rallied at the State Capitol in St. Paul May 6 for legislation to create and preserve affordable housing.

With the legislative session scheduled to end May 20, Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan vowed to fight for their $150 million bonding proposal and $25 million in other investments for affordable housing. Walz, a Democrat, said the Democratic-majority House favors the proposals, while Republicans controlling the Senate did not appear ready to back them.

“Everybody deserves a safe place to live and if we have those safe places to live, we see outcomes and social justice skyrocket, in employment and economic opportunity,” Walz said.

With “your voices, your work and your activism we can get to a point where when we finish the session, we’re a little fairer, a little better, a little more just, and a lot more people living in security,” he said.

The “Homes for All Spring Rally, Unite for Housing” was held as increasing numbers of people are homeless in Minnesota — a record 10,233 counted in one night in October, according to a statewide study done by the research arm of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation of St. Paul.

Homes for All, a statewide coalition of more than 200 organizations for the homeless, helped organize the rally. With backers including the Minnesota Catholic Conference and Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Homes for All has proposed $430 million in state spending and borrowing to help create affordable housing.

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